Indiana Men’s Golfers Led by 15th Place Berggren at Butler Spring Invitational

Indiana Men’s Golf sent four players to the Butler Spring Invitational this week to compete as individuals in the 17-team event.

Junior Eric Berggren led those who represented the cream and crimson at Highland Golf and Country Club in Indianapolis to tie for 15th place, while 5th-year senior Evan Yakubov tied for 27th. Rounding out the Hoosiers’ results tied for 43rd and 81st place, respectively, was Sophomore Robbie Bender III and Freshman Ethan Chelf.

The four Hoosiers were within four strokes of each other after the first 18 holes, with Bender III leading the foursome with a score of 73.3 over par. His round consisted of four birdies, a team high, including three from the front nine.

Yakubov came in just behind Bender III with a score of 74. His only birdie of the first round came on the 17th hole, which was only his second hole of the day, due to the shotgun teeing style of the event.

Berggren and Chelf had rounds of 75 and 77, respectively, and both birdied on the sixth hole. Berggren also birdied on the 10th hole, while Chelf birdied back-to-back on his first round as he also recorded a 3 on the seventh hole.

Tee times have been pushed back due to cold and freezing temperatures in the area, meaning the second round of 18 holes on Monday had to be scratched from the schedule. The 54-hole event was converted to a 36-hole event, with 18 holes played on Monday and Tuesday.

Even with the cold weather, Berggren got off to another strong start on day two, leading the Hoosiers with a 1-under 69, a career high for the junior. Berggren had three more birdies to become the sixth Hoosier to beat 70 birdies this season. He finished tied for 15th overall and second among Big Ten golfers with a two-day total of 144, 4 over par.

Yakubov beat his first-round score by one shot in the second, shooting a 73. The 5th-year senior landed a birdie putt on holes six, 12 and 16.

Bender III and Chelf rounded out Indiana’s field with scores of 76 and 78, respectively, to complete the outing of the four Hoosiers who have seen the least time on the course this season.

Indiana will return to team competition for the final two regular-season tournaments of the season, beginning with the Boilermaker Invitational April 9-10 in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Michael C. Ford